Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I just received the following:
CITY OF SIERRA MADRE AND POA REACH AGREEMENT, PENDING VOTER APPROVAL OF U.U.T.
The City of Sierra Madre and the Sierra Madre Police Officers’ Association (POA) reached an agreement Tuesday, December 18, 2007 settling the long-running salary dispute. A three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved by the City Council at Tuesday’s Special Meeting, gives the POA an average salary boost of 9 percent beginning July 1, 2008. This will be followed by an average of an 8 percent increase the second year and a 7 percent the third year.
City Manager Elaine Aguilar stated, “Implementation of this MOU is contingent upon the proposed passage of the Utility User Tax Measure at the April 8, 2008 election.” Based on the recommendations of the Citizen Advisory Committee, the City knew it could not afford to increase police salaries without a new source of revenue. The proposed UUT measure increases the UUT over three years from the current 6 percent to a maximum ceiling of 12 percent, determined annually by the City Council. The measure also modernizes the current Utility Tax Ordinance to reflect changes in communications technologies. Finally, an Advisory Measure on the ballot will seek citizen input on additional public safety uses of the funds generated by the UUT.
As part of the agreement, the POA will cease campaigning for their own pay and benefit ballot initiative. Instead, they will encourage residents to vote for the UUT measure and the Advisory Measure.
POA President John Ellins commented, “The Sierra Madre Police Association thanks the Mayor Enid Joffe and the City Council for their unanimous support. The POA is pleased that this agreement not only guarantees the future of the police department, but helps protect the future of all city services.” He added, “We encourage the citizens of Sierra Madre to support the UUT tax so there will be sufficient funding for all public city services.”
“This is a historic agreement between the City of Sierra Madre and the Police Officers’ Association,” said Mayor Joffe. “It ends years of discord between the City and the POA and provides our outstanding police force with a significant increase in salaries over a three year period.”
The last time the City and the POA mutually agreed on a MOU agreement was for the 1998-99 fiscal year.
Other provisions of the MOU include:
• An increase in health benefits consistent with the general classified employees.
• A fiscal emergency provision that allows the City to suspend salary increases if City revenues decline by more than 3% in one year.
• An opportunity to re-open discussion of the POA request for improved retirement benefits in 2010.
• An end to previous litigation between the City and the POA.
The Utility User Tax and Advisory Measure will be on the April 8, 2008 election.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
On my way home last night there was a bit of a traffic detour on Grandview near Mountain Trail. The road was closed. So I detoured to Alegria to get up to the canyon.
Turns out someone was hungry for some yummy persimmons! Ms. Bear had finished with the fruit on Laurel and was hanging out in Pine Tree on the corner of Grandview and Mountain Trail along with several interested neighbors and the press.
Here is the a link to the PSN story. Poor Bear, I am sure that she was frightened of all the hub-bub, and had no desire to be on the 6 o'clock news!
I wonder if it was our backyard bear who wandered down from the canyon?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This post is getting alot of comments over at the FCBLOG. I thought I would put it up here in case you haven't seen it yet. I have requested specific details on the expansion from the City, but have yet to hear from them. I will post those as soon as I recieve them. I also want to make clear that I don't condone "not standing up for your rights", as I was acused of over at he FC, but I ask that you take a step back and not react to the stiuation with out the facts. God knows the people in this town tend to be a bit reactionary.
Here it is:
Not sure if any of you Sierra Madreans have noticed the signs on west side of Michillinda protesting a proposed expansion of Alverno High School. I am not clear of the extent of the actual expansion but it does include a soccer field. I have requested the details of the project through the City’s web site, however until those are available I would appreciate any facts that you have regarding this project.
I also thought it was quite ironic that the school across the street, La Salle, just won their court case on their expansion last year. The neighbors sued the school for a variety of reasons. (actually it turns out it was for the lighting)
“We were all vindicated,” Little said Friday. “It was not a surprise to me or any of us. The judge rules on the law.”
Sounds like it was a frivolous law suit, and I just hope that the people of Sierra Madre don’t repeat this type of behavior, wasting taxpayer dollars on attorney fees because they can.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
So lets put away our snarky comments for a while and think about the holidays. The reason for the season. If you believe in Christmas, or don't , there is always a time for love, and peace and joy. There is also a time to remember those we love, who are here next to us, and who are gone.
Think about the reason for the season.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
It seems that this mere announcement has begun a huge debate on the Police salaries and the value of other City services. I do appreciate the opinion of a former City Councilperson; as a wise man once said, until you walk a mile in their footsteps.
So when a commenter accuses me of passing information to the Police so that they can get a ticket, I say FICTION and paranoid in the same breath! How am I going to trace the name and address of an anonymous poster? That is unless I am a cop with all the high tech equipment for IP tracing….. Yea right.
And when I hear the city is broke and has no money for raises, I say FACT. Because a lot of other cities in the SGV are also in the same place as we are. Because if we give the cops there raise, what money will we have left to run the city with? And when you think we are overspending, then start thinking about how you would feel if you didn't have that service available to you or your neighbor or child. As I said before we heart Sierra Madre.
So I challenge you the commenter's to provide me with facts that can be substantiated. Not opinions that are so far fetched that not even a shred of truth can be found.
Send them to me and let’s put them up here for a debate on the realities of it all.